Selling on Craigslist seems daunting, and selling a used cell phone has a lot of caveats to it. Scammers have been known to hide behind the anonymity of Craigslist, both buying and selling phones. Both might try to defraud the other in a variety of ways that include false advertising, fraudulent payments, and outright theft of the phone.
However, a few negative stories shouldn’t dissuade you from selling your cell phone on Craigslist. Some buyers and sellers prefer it to EBay and other such sites because it puts security in the hands of the most interested party – the seller. With a few precautions, not only can you sell your phone on Craigslist, but you can do it safely and effectively.
Here are 7 ways that can help you maximize your profit:
Before you can even advertise the phone, you have to have a clear idea how much you want for it. This is especially true if a new upgrade is coming out soon, as you want to get top dollar for the old model before the price drops. Shop around and compare the price of your phone to comparable ones on Craigslist (and perhaps some other sites). Set a minimum price you are willing to accept, but keep this figure to yourself; when you advertise the phone, you will want to offer it for a higher price than your minimum to give yourself a buffer.
A phone that is being sold should be clear of all personal data, and this may also mean backing it up if the phone has personal information that needs to be kept. Whether you back it up on a SIM card, a computer, or some other device, you don’t want to lose things like your personal contacts or any pictures. For that matter, you don’t want them falling into a stranger’s hands, because that could open the door for identity theft.
Making your ad is a special project of its own. The most important part of making your ad is being honest. If there are any flaws with the phone, you want to be clear about them right away. Buyers are going to feel scammed if you try to conceal scratches, damage, or other issues. If you want to be paid a certain way, don’t want to ship the phone anywhere, or don’t want to trade for the phone, these are also things that should be mentioned in your ad. People respond best to bullet points and boldface, so be sure to use those in your text.
One way to establish trust in your used phone is by having it checked. A clean phone receive a third-party certificate of authentication (like PhoneCheck!) that shows how well it works, which can give buyers peace of mind that you are selling them what they are paying for.
Another thing that is more likely to attract buyers is the inclusion of pictures in your ad. These should be in a neutral setting that is well-lit, and you want to include the phone from all angles, especially if there is visible damage. A good rule of thumb is to take at least two pictures of the front of the phone (one with the phone on, so buyers know it works) and one of the back.
In order to protect your privacy, it is advisable not to use your normal telephone number or address as your contact information. Experienced Craigslist sellers usually set up a phone line and email address that are dedicated specifically to their selling. If you are not a frequent Craigslist seller, a cheap burner phone will do, and many email providers allow users to set up free accounts.
Privacy concerns extend to the actual meeting to exchange the phone for the agreed-upon payment. Almost every seller will tell you to meet your buyer in public rather than at your home or theirs for safety reasons. However, even that will not protect you from potential scammers, as this seller found out. To ensure you don’t run afoul of thieves and counterfeiters, some sellers have suggested doing your business at a bank or ATM machine. Even meeting at the police station can weed out dishonest buyers.
With these tips in mind, selling your phone on Craigslist can be so easy! All it takes is being wary and making smart choices about your product and your interactions with buyers. Certifying your phone will also go a long way toward ensuring you are able to sell it on Craigslist. You can do it!